View Full Version : Someone has almost identical business name as me?

02-20-2005, 09:38 PM
What should I do?? My business name is "Inside & Out Const." and last year I saw a yard sign that said "Inside Out" something. It was very relative to my business. Now when I registered my name 6 years ago, there was nothing even close to mine. I don't even know if this guy is a registered DBA. What should I do about this?? I would hate for this guy to do shotty work and then as the name gets passed it affects me or my great quality somehow gets his phone ringing. ;)

Mo Green
02-20-2005, 09:55 PM
Did you register your name with the city you live in or with the state? I would check with the state to see if he is registered there. Unless your name is trademarked to you, it is possible for someone else to use the same name.

02-20-2005, 09:56 PM
I registered in my city. Should I do something different?

02-20-2005, 10:01 PM
Send him a letter on an attorney's letterhead demanding that he stop using the name.

02-20-2005, 10:04 PM
I really thought about calling the guy and asking how long he's had this catchy name, and go from there in regards to the what do you call it, infringement?

Mo Green
02-20-2005, 10:09 PM
I registered in my city. Should I do something different?
Here in Virginia, if you are a sole proprieter, you only have to register in the city you live in. If you are anything higher, you must register with the state. It is possible to have multiple businesses in the same state with very similar names. When I went to register my name in my city, there were no others with my name. I even looked in the phone book and didn't see it. After I registered, I went to the state website and found 4 or 5 other businesses with the same basic name as mine in my state. As I said before, unless you have the name trademarked, or he is registered in the same city, there is nothing you can really do.

02-20-2005, 10:13 PM
I should check it out at the city office. I was going to do "Lawnscapes" a subsidary to Inside & Out Const. But then I checked here and saw Lawnscapes of Maryland. I felt weird about it then?

02-21-2005, 12:36 AM
unless you file for a registered trade name at the state level, odds are that he has as much right to use the name as you do. in fact, you could have every lco in your city using that name if that wanted. simply registering at the local city or county level is only for the protection of the consumer (so that they can find out who is really behind the business), and ironically not your business interest. you need to check the state site and register your name properly through a registered trade name and not just a dba/ficticious name.

if you want to read up on the topic, just hit yahoo or google and search something along the lines of: dba name protection

Norm Al
02-21-2005, 12:37 AM
unless your willing to spend some bling on lawyers,,,,,forget about it!

green with envy
02-21-2005, 12:46 AM
The name is different. Even if you service mark the name it is still different.

Sorry that's the way it is

I feel your pain!


Green With Envy

In my state green with envy Lawncare, green with envy yard and lawn, Green with envy landscape

I feel your pain

02-21-2005, 12:53 AM
ooops, almost forgot about the trademarking that Mo brought up.

trademarking has nothing to do with the first step in the general protection of your written name. besides, "in & out" is not a distinctively unique name, which is the first step in trademarking, or even state-filed trade or corporate names. if it was, "in & out burger" would have sued you by now. if you want a trademarkable name, you need to start with making a new word up, such as "xerox" or having something that is outside the realm of commonality. filing either as tradename with your state, or the name on your inc filings will offer you protection. actually, even using a distinct name in the course of your business blesses you with a sort of common law trademark protection. it's not as solid, but you do have some legal protection if you can prove it.

also, so as not to confuse things, trademarking a logo is different than a written name. you could trademark a unique logo of your in & out name, but probably not the name itself. crystal clear, no?

02-21-2005, 08:28 AM
I realise that someplace there may be a name the same as mine or really close to mine. I just don't like seeing it in the same town. I don't want to be confused with him.

02-21-2005, 09:18 AM
Send him a letter on an attorney's letterhead demanding that he stop using the name.

Unless your the attorney this would be illegal.